Best Old Rocker On The Place

These Strained Lyrics

These Strained Lyrics

A wonderful poet died on December 4. I knew Claudia Emerson only casually in real life;  deeply intensely through her work.  Her struggle with cancer was documented through Facebook posts where her courage and insights were profound.  She unflinchingly shared with us the struggle.  One posting was of a rocker with the line used as the title of this post.

The arts are my avenue for solace. When there is nothing one can do, being creative is both an outlet for frustration and for exploring the deeper meanings of life. I painted the little rocker as brightly as possible. Life may be handing out pure crap, but I was at least going to make it colorful crap. I put in my studio at my gallery with a little note hoping customers and friends would send little thoughts, prayers, good cheer her way.  Positive vibes can help in whatever form they take.

And I wrote. Worked on a little poem to express some thoughts about life, death, despair.   Claudia’s frequent  comments and observations ran the gamut.  My heart ached.

I drafted the handwritten poem on hang tags. And with her death I finalized the poem one last time and put the sad face on an iamb next to the painting.  My original hope was to send the painting to Claudia after Christmas with a New Year’s wish to keep on rocking.  For now it sits on my easel where it will until I decide what cause to donate it to.  And my thoughts now shift in focus to her husband Kent.  His pain is so great right now.

So for now my hope for you is to stay creative during times of sadness or crisis. Try writing some fragments on hang tags. These shipping standards are available in different sizes. I buy them by the thousands – literally – and put quotes and notes and fragments on them. Some are antiqued and used in collage or multimedia works. They come in handy for all sorts of projects.

I also ask that you read Claudia’s work this week. Late Wife and Figure Studies are both excellent.  Her poems and work are scattered about everywhere on the web. Her work here as a writer is done. Her work as an inspiration has only just begun.  Peace to all.    Taylor

Note. A previous post on journaling was shared previously on my post To Burn or Not to Burn. I hope Claudia’s journals will be saved.


About Taylor Collins

Taylor writes in fragments - journals incessantly – the sea a recurring theme. She blogs and works on three writing projects at the moment. She was selected to read a twitter poem, written during National Poetry month, for the “Tell Me More” NPR program in 2011. A day diary was selected for publication in Water Cooler Diaries published in 2008 (De Capo Press). She recently completed a small chapbook, a 12-part poem entitled Flame. Taylor receives “real” rejection letters now – a sure sign her work is being read. She paints and writes in her studio/gallery -- Parke Green Galleries located on the site where the US Constitution was first ratified. She spends time thinking when deep thoughts surface. Taylor leads a rather dry life on the ocean she's tossed about on. Be sure to visit her if you're ever in the state that started our nation. Cheers!

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